Mike Bracken's blog
By Mike Bracken on January 3, 2009 - 6:22am.
There are two things I wish I covered more of here at the site: videogames and comic books. I try to cover games as much as I can, but comics are just stretching myself too thin (despite the fact that I love comics enough to have actually spent a good chunk of 2007 working in a comic shop…)
Despite that, occasionally something comic-related comes along and I’ve got to post about it despite my lack of comic coverage. This news from Wildstorm about a Resident Evil 5 prequel falls squarely into that category.
The guys over at STYD uncovered news that Wildstorm will be releasing a six issue Resident Evil 5 prequel that looks at what brings lead character Chris Redfield to Africa and what “dark burden” haunts him. Rick Sanchez will handle the writing duties with Kevin Sharpe and Jim Clark providing the artwork.
You’ll find Resident Evil 5 at your local comic shop come March 11th. The game hits stores on March 13th.
By Mike Bracken on December 16, 2008 - 7:10am.
Awhile back I posted some stories about a Hollywood bidding war that broke out for the movie rights to an unannounced videogame from Electronic Arts based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Well, at the SpikeTV Videogame Awards show the other night, EA finally confirmed that the game is indeed coming (it’ll be titled Dante’s Inferno) and they unveiled a teaser promo for the game as well.
There’s not much gameplay on display in the trailer (or really any for that matter…) but it’s still nice to see the game officially confirmed. No release date has been set yet, but it appears that the game is tentatively scheduled for release in 2009.
By Mike Bracken on November 11, 2008 - 12:00am.
According to Kotaku, EA has announced that its popular survival horror game Dead Space is getting some premium upgrade packs. Like all things EA, expect these new "enhancements" to cost you (to the tune of nearly $30 if you wanted them all--which is half the retail price of the entire goddamn game...) and that some of them will be useless "graphical upgrades" as opposed to things that would actually warrant shelling out cold hard cash. In their defense, there are some upgrades that change the game experience--upgrading weapon power, mostly--and no one's holding a gun to your head to force you into shelling out cash for these things. Your copy of Dead Space will still work just fine without them.
By Mike Bracken on November 5, 2008 - 12:00am.
Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of game previews or watching pre-release footage online. I guess, as a reviewer, I've always felt it was better to come into a game cold and experience it fresh on my first playthrough. Even when I'd attend E3 in years past, I was hesitant to spend too much time playing pre-release builds of games because I didn't want anything to spoil my experience with the full version.
That being said, I've broken my rule (albeit slightly) with Valve's Left 4 Dead. I don't think I've been this excited for a zombie game since Resident Evil 2—so when the intro movie appeared online on Halloween, I fought the urge to watch it. I made it through the weekend before finally caving. So, here it is—a few days late, but still very cool—the opening cinematic for Left 4 Dead.
Start practicing your headshots—the game hits retailers on November 18th.
By Mike Bracken on October 26, 2008 - 11:00pm.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I still don't own a PlayStation 3. I'm one of those guys who picks up every console in every generation--then when something exclusive releases, I don't have to give a crap. The PS3, though, has remained a bit out of my price range and didn't have anything I was dying to play for quite awhile. That's changing now (well, not the price part, but the games I want to play half) with MGS4, Disgaea 3, and now, Burn, Zombie Burn!
Looking at the screenshots for this title, the first thing that pops into my head is "damn, this looks like a next-gen version of Zombies Ate My Neighbors"--which was a great 16-bit era game that appeared on the SNES and Genesis.
By Mike Bracken on October 24, 2008 - 11:00pm.
Although the game's only been out a little over a week, EA's Dead Space is already generating a lot of "potential franchise" buzz. Variety's Ben Fritz posted some tantalizing morsels in his blog, The Cut Scene, earlier this week.
Speaking to EA Games label President Frank Gibeau and Dead Space executive producer Glenn Schoefield, here are the highlights:
Schoefield confirmed that EA is "talking to movie studios right now" about the prospects of the game becoming a feature film. It should be noted that there's an animated film, Dead Space: Downfall, already slated for release.
The producer added that EA and a publishing partner are "talking about Dead Space novels as well as a line of toys".
Finally, he also mentioned that a Dead Space sequel was already in the works. Judging by the early fan response to the game, this is good news.
To read more of the blog (including news about sequels to Army of Two and Battlefield: Bad Company), head on over here.
By Mike Bracken on October 17, 2008 - 11:00pm.
In a different world, Max Payne would be a solid contender for the worst videogame to film adaptation in movie history—taking its place right alongside Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat II as the main exhibits in the case that Hollywood simply doesn't understand gaming. However, as long as the Antichrist (known more commonly by his human name, Uwe Boll) continues to churn out films like Alone in the Dark, Max Payne will just have to be content with the title of "not very good" as opposed to "out and out awful".
Payne, starring an angry and mopey Mark Wahlberg as the title character, is a film that I really wanted to like. It's beautifully shot (it's got a gorgeous neo-noir color palette working in it), it has some decent action scenes (although I think the games did a better job of integrating the John Woo influence), and it feels like the people involved cared about the end product to at least some degree. This makes it all the more disappointing that the end result is a film that feels a bit like Constantine part 2 (which was another film I wanted to love because I've dug the Hellblazer comics for years).
By Mike Bracken on October 16, 2008 - 8:13pm.
Film Critic Roger Moore (of the Orlando Sentinel) has sparked a mini controversy in his Max Payne review. The blurb quote for the piece, posted at Rotten Tomatoes, says the following:
"As good as a couple of its action beats are, Max still suffers from the heartlessness that makes games emotionally inferior to movies. Nobody ever shed a tear over a video-game character's death."
Naturally, both sentences are pretty inflammatory to gamers, who've taken him to task in the comment section. Moore, who's no stranger to controversy (he earned Kevin Smith's ire a year or two ago) has yet to respond, but this clearly looks like another case of a guy who hasn't played a game since Space Invaders commenting on a medium he has no clue about.
You can follow the comments (which have been fairly civil so far—although that seems likely to change) here.
By Mike Bracken on June 7, 2007 - 12:42pm.
Time for another installment of Geeking Out—the blog that people occasionally read when they want to know what I'm reading/watching/playing or just a cursory update on life here at Casa de Bracken.
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